Wells, Ida B(ell)

or Ida Bell Wells-Barnett

born July 16, 1862, Holly Springs, Miss., U.S.
died March 25, 1931, Chicago, Ill.

U.S. journalist and antilynching crusader.

The daughter of slaves, she was educated at a freedmen's school in Holly Springs and later at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. She was a teacher until the late 1880s, when she turned to journalism, writing articles for African American-owned newspapers on issues such as the limited education available to African American children. In 1892, after three of her friends were lynched by a mob, Wells began an editorial campaign against lynching that quickly led to the destruction of her newspaper's office by whites. She continued her antilynching campaign as a lecturer and founder of antilynching societies and African American women's clubs throughout the U.S. In 1895 she married Ferdinand Barnett and began writing for his newspaper, the Chicago Conservator. In 1910 she founded the Chicago Negro Fellowship League. She also founded Chicago's Alpha Suffrage Club, perhaps the first African American woman-suffrage group.

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Universalium. 2010.

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